Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, says Idaho’s efforts to keep invasive quagga and zebra mussels from getting into the state’s waterways appear to be succeeding. “We were very successful this year,” he told the Legislature’s interim committee on energy, environment and technology. “We seem to have avoided any contact with these critters in our waterways this year.” Seventeen sites were set up statewide to inspect boats coming into the state, and Idaho required boaters to buy a special sticker to fund the anti-mussel efforts. “It’s absolutely paramount that we stay diligent - we’re going to have to do more,” Anderson said. “We have been successful - this is like trying to prevent a terrorist act. Professionals out there feel that we have really dodged a bullet.”
One boat that was chased through three states actually was launched in the Spokane River, Anderson said, but extensive monitoring followed and no contamination was found. “I was concerned because I just live downriver, just downstream from that,” said Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene. He said the launch took place at Blackwell Island. Anderson and officials said the boat turned out to have been out of the water long enough before its Idaho launch for any invasive critters on it to have died.